The Profound Simplicity of Center

I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to do or how to pray. I got my visual prayer journal out and just sat there. A CD was on the table. I decided to draw around the outside hoping something might come to me. Then I drew around the inside circle: As I looked at the little circle inside the big circle a thought hit me: I am like the little circle. God is like the big one. I am in God. God is in me. God encircling me, all around me. God knows me and I am loved by God.… Read More

Perceive: a Way of Seeing

This is my new prayer journal cover. It goes along with my theme for the year: Receive New Vision. I like the word “perceive” because it doesn’t just mean “seeing” like we see in the natural realm. It’s a way of seeing that holds mystery, a deeper understanding, a discovery of reality.  When I read and wrote the verses I took it in a spiritual context and my imagination took flight.  Now with the events of the past two weeks, I feel a bit cynical and am wryly applying them to my current state. On the last day of May… Read More

Circle Doodles, a Key, Heart and Joy

I love circles. They are such symbols of wholeness to me. I often start with a circle when doing visual prayer. Doodling beginning with a circle is meditative and relaxing. We will be doing circle doodling in the Summer Art Journaling 2-day Workshop-Playshop. 
In this centerfold of my journal I use the circle doodles as a backdrop for the key…  
the heart…
and what can be unlocked on the inside: the joy of love and hope.

Shalom, a Visual Word Journal, Part 8

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon Where there is doubt, faith Where there is despair, hope Where there is darkness, light There there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek  to be consoled, as to console;  to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen” – St.… Read More

Shalom, a Visual Word Journal, Part 7

These pages were really fun to do. The circles, with their wholeness and lack of sharp edges make me happy and remind me of God’s presence. As I doodled and painted I listened to worship music while worshiping with my pen and paint, humming and singing along: for me a kind of reveling, visual prayer and play. When I finished the circle decorations I added words from my research on Shalom around the edges. This circle idea is something I always come back to. I’s so fun I think I will include the circle in the upcoming summer workshops. Below I… Read More

“Lord, what have you given me grace for?”

Valerie Sjodin copyright 2011 Whew! I’m glad to blog again. I’ve missed you all. It’s been one of those busy times, a time of direction, and changes happening one right after the other. I am thankful the direction I am getting is: Do more Art and bless people!  I put this image from my “Playful Praise of an Ordinary Woman” because it is where I am at. One thing, one step at a time…. Asking more often, “Lord, what have you given me grace for right now?”  I also put this image on because it has the golden ratio on… Read More

Creative Impact: an artistic collaboration

This past weekend was what I was hoping for. There was a pleasant ease as a group of 35 women got together to explore creativity and collaborate with their Creator and one another. Friday Lisa Bradburn from Rock Creek Church talked about stifled destinies, and yet moving on to fulfilled ones. Saturday my talk was on hearing God and collaboration with the Spirit. Then we had workshops: Writing, Drama & Dance (led by Lorrie and Jenn) and Visual Art. At the end of the weekend we collaborated with one another. In the example shown below, I painted it and wrote… Read More

To be or not to be?….

Sometimes fear has kept me from taking the time to quiet myself and listen. It’s not so much being afraid of something, but afraid of nothing; that I would be left alone, empty, wanting and needing more. What if God doesn’t show up?  This thinking says more about me than God, but when I’m in it, I don’t want to see it; I don’t want to feel that way so I busy myself.  I have given into fear instead of stepping out in faith. I feel I have to earn God’s love… just try harder… and maybe He will like me… Read More

What is Your Purpose?

Here is one side of a blessing I gave a dear friend. She is one of those people, when you hear her story, you marvel that God brought her through such trial. She is not bitter, but beautiful, with a gift for remembering and recording with discernment, and a hunger for more of God. I was so happy when I knew I got to make her a blessing. It came quickly, like I was going along with what God was doing. It is so great to feel that sense of collaboration. So many times it is hard fought, but this… Read More

Paintings, Prayers, and Passages, Book available now!


It’s finally here. It has felt like a birth of sorts with it’s hope, anticipation, pain, relief, and joy. 


A number of people helped me with proofing, editing, copyright info, coaching in publishing, marketing etc. Thank you Keith, Katie, Merri, Kimberly, Janis, Mary, Anneli, David, Carol, Rick and Wendy! 


Here is the cover image again, the page beginning the “I AM” section, and the page beginning the “Woman at the Well” section of the book:


Copyright Valerie Sjodin 2011